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UN calls on Iraqi leaders to agree on Speaker

UN calls on Iraqi leaders to agree on Speaker, hold next Parliament session

7 July 2014

Ahead of tomorrow’s elections, the United Nations envoy for Iraq has called on the country’s political leaders to reach an agreement on a Speaker for the Council of Representatives as soon as possible.

According to a UN spokesperson in New York, over the last few days, Nickolay Mladenov, head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), has been in talks with a number of Iraqi political leaders and has encouraged everyone to stay within the framework of the constitutional political process.

Mr. Mladenov said that the blocs in Parliament should limit the number of days for final negotiations, and work within constitutionally mandated timelines for the necessary nominations.

Last month, Iraq’s newly elected Council was unable to reach an agreement on naming a new Speaker. Acting Speaker Mahdi al-Hafidh ended the proceedings after most of the 328-member legislature did not return from a short break, according to media reports.

At a recent press conference, Mr. Mladenov said it was imperative that national leaders work together to foil attempts by insurgents to destroy the social fabric of Iraqi society. Large parts of the country remain under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS), and other armed groups.

June was the deadliest month in the country since 2007 with the insurgency claiming some 2,400 lives – more than half of them civilians. More than 2,417 Iraqis were killed and another 2,287 were injured in acts of terrorism and violence, according to figures recently released by the UNAMI human rights team.

ENDS

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